Mistakes. We all make them. Wrong choices. We all do them. But what do you do with that?
Questions to Ponder:
Are you one to forgive and forget?
Do you hold onto those mistakes to beat yourself up with later?
Do you expect yourself to be perfect?
Are you angry when you or others make a mistake?
I have to admit it – I am a recovering Perfectionist. I used to have very unrealistic expectations for myself and for others. I was miserable. And I made everyone else miserable. I could not receive grace or mercy from God because I would not accept it while I was trying to be “perfect”. For me, it shut down my heart. I didn’t allow myself to “let my guard down” with God or anyone else. So I became a “platstic person”. I was never good enough in my own eyes. And neither was anyone else. But I would smile on the outside and say I was just fine…
It took the love of God to break through my mask of perfection. The more I read the Word, the more I received forgiveness and love from the Lord. He loved me right where I was at, and encouraged me to get up and try again.
If God forgave me, who was I to condemn myself?
And who was I to criticize what God had made?
What freedom I found when I finally gave myself permission to make mistakes. Wow, I can’t tell you how great it is to be human today. And now I can extend grace and mercy to others too. Because I have received grace and mercy from God. I forgave myself. God did. Jesus died for all my sins. I believe it. I receive it. And now I can forgive others. I can only give to others what God has given me. If I could not receive forgiveness for my shortcomings how could I forgive others for theirs?
I encourage you today. Forgive yourself. God already did, and I forgive you too – for whatever. Accept healing, accept grace, accept mercy – Jesus died to give it to us. It’s ok to be human today! That’s how He made us anyway. And I really think He already knew we would need His help!
“But you shall be named the priests of the Lord, They shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, And in their glory you shall boast. Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs.” (Isaiah 61:6-7 NKJV)
Recently a few of my friends shared this poem with me. It rang so true. I remember when I first came to church, it was so hard. And then going through life I have been in most of these situations. How about you?
Church is hard.
Church is hard for the person walking through the doors, afraid of judgement.
Church is hard for the pastor’s family, under the microscope of an entire body.
Church is hard for the prodigal soul returning home, broken and battered by the world.
Church is hard for the girl who looks like she has it all together, but doesn’t.
Church is hard for the couple who fought the entire ride to service.
Church is hard for the single mom, surrounded by couples holding hands, and seemingly perfect families.
Church is hard for the widow and widower with no invitation to lunch after service.
Church is hard for the deacon with an estranged child.
Church is hard for the person singing worship songs, overwhelmed by the weight of the lyrics.
Church is hard for the man insecure in his role as a leader.
Church is hard for the wife who longs to be led by a righteous man.
Church is hard for the nursery volunteer who desperately longs for a baby to love.
Church is hard for the single woman and single man, praying God brings them a mate.
Church is hard for the teenage girl, wearing a scarlet letter, ashamed of her mistakes.
Church is hard for the sinners.
Church is hard for me.
It’s hard because on the outside it all looks shiny and perfect. Sunday best in behavior and dress.
However, underneath those layers, you find a body of imperfect people, carnal souls, selfish motives.
But, here is the beauty of church—
Church isn’t a building, mentality, or expectation.
Church is a body.
Church is a group of sinners, saved by grace, living in fellowship as saints.
Church is a body of believers bound as brothers and sisters by an eternal love.
Church is a holy ground where sinners stand as equals before the Throne of Grace.
Church is a refuge for broken hearts and a training ground for mighty warriors.
Church is a converging of confrontation and invitation. Where sin is confronted and hearts are invited to seek restoration.
Church is a lesson in faith and trust.
Church is a bearer of burdens and a giver of hope.
Church is a family. A family coming together, setting aside differences, forgetting past mistakes, rejoicing in the smallest of victories.
Church, the body, and the circle of sinners-turned-saints, is where He resides, and if we ask, He is faithful to come.
So even on the hard days at church—
The days when I am at odds with a friend, When I’ve fought with my spouse because we’re late once again. When I’ve walked in bearing burdens heavier than my heart can handle, yet masking the pain with a smile on my face. When I’ve worn a scarlet letter, under the microscope. When I’ve longed for a baby to hold, or fought tears as the lyrics were sung. When I’ve walked back in, afraid and broken, after walking away.
I’ll remember, He has never failed to meet me there.
I took my son to Physical Therapy last week. He recently broke both of the bones in his lower right leg. After the Dr. we stopped to pick up lunch for the ride back. We walked in the restaurant and I noticed there were 2 girls in front of us who were ordering. They had to be around 16 or so. One girl had purple hair, another had yellow dye and I though to myself, “Here are two budding artists or musicians!” I’m pretty open minded for kids to be able to express themselves.
But then my focus shifted to the one girl’s t-shirt. I couldn’t believe what it said, it stopped me in my tracks. Here is the shirt:
My first though was not the best idea – I’ll just go beat her with my Bible and tell her she has to repent or she’s going to Hell! Then Holy Spirit reminded me, maybe she is already living in Hell and has no hope. Maybe she wants to go to Hell because she has no faith in Jesus. Maybe she never met Jesus. I don’t know. I don’t know why or what led her to that mindset.
My second thought was I could go up to them while we wait for the food and I could ask her if I could pray with her. Then Holy Spirit reminded me that she doesn’t know God, she doesn’t know that Jesus can heal all things, so why would she want to pray to a God she doesn’t know or worship?
I couldn’t contain myself and I didn’t want to blow it by talking first and thinking later. I took a break and walked to the restrooms. Yes, even there I am still arguing with God about how to reach this girl. Do I give her a card to church? No, that won’t work. Why would she want to go to a strange place when she probably has no hope or faith left. I mean, really, she’s talking to the ‘other guy. I can’t imagine why someone would wear a t-shirt like that. Something must have happened.
As I sat down waiting for the food Holy Spirit told me what I should do. “I want you to pray for her…” What? Just pray? I don’t get to confront her or tell her she has to ‘come to Jesus’ or she better ‘get right with God’? Yes, just pray. As you can see, I still have a bit of the ‘religious spirit’ that needs to be healed.
The girls got their food first and then us. As they left I said a prayer for both of them. “Lord please bless those girls and let them come to know you, in Jesus Name.” They went their way and we went ours. Can I tell you that it’s been two weeks and I still pray for them. God said he hears our prayers and the effectual prayer of a righteous person avails much.
God’s Word for You:
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].” – James 5:16 AMP
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” – 1John 5:14
“I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but that You keep them and protect them from the evil one.” – John 17:15 AMP
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor (fellow man) and hate your enemy.’But I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that?And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that?You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5:43-48 AMP
My Prayer for You:
We pray for those who persecute us. We pray for the kids that You made and do not know You yet. We pray that you would shine light in their darkness. Let them run into Your people wherever they go and lead them to You Jesus. You told us Lord, “And I, if and when I am lifted up from the earth [on the cross], will draw all people to Myself [Gentiles, as well as Jews].” – John 12:32. We lift You up Jesus and we will see You draw all people to yourself, in Jesus Name.
Hallelujah, spring/summer is on it’s way in. No more snow. Yipee! I am not a fan of cold, snow, or winter, lol. I love when the grass is green and the flowers are blooming. Their fragrance is almost intoxicating. Give me a lilac bush, a rose bush, a hibiscus, anything. I love the smell of new growth. All of a sudden the plant pushes its way through the dark dirt and pops up to grow. What starts as a seed then sprouts and continues to grow and produce fruit/flowers/leaves.
Whatever the seed was, it becomes the plant it is supposed to be. The blueprint was already in the seed, even when it was buried. The potential was there from the beginning. That’s how we are too.
God formed us in our mother’s womb. He knew the end from the beginning. He called us OUT of darkness and INTO His marvelous light. He makes all things NEW. We are a new creation in Jesus. Our lives are hidden with Christ in God. I think I’m going to start living there, not just here on Earth.
Let’s choose to believe Him. Let’s choose faith, not fear. Let’s set our minds on things above, not below. Let’s walk in faith of what God’s Word says – even if we can’t see it yet!
A Time for Everything
There is a special time for everything. There is a time for everything that happens under heaven. There is a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pick what is planted. There is a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up. There is a time to cry, and a time to laugh; a time to have sorrow, and a time to dance. There is a time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to kiss, and a time to turn from kissing. There is a time to try to find, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away. There is a time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; a time to be quiet, and a time to speak. There is a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NLV
Has time ever caught up with you? Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, or maybe because all my kids moved out and are on their own.
I was driving my son to the Doctor the other day. He just had a motorcycle accident 2 weeks ago and broke both of the bones in his lower right leg. He was turning 21 in the next few days and I had a hard time believing he was grown up already. As we drove through Janesville WI, we drove by his old elementary school. I remembered when he and his sister went there and I got a job there to be with them. I had just separated their psycho dad. We drove by the old trailer park we used to live in, and the YMCA Domestic Violence Center where God set us free from abuse. It seems like just yesterday I was living there with both of my young children. Then we drove by the A & W restaurant we would walk to from the shelter. We drove by the park I used to take them to when they were little. I was so broke back then. I had a part time waitress job, and a full time job at a nursing home. Times were hard, but God is good and He provided for us in so many ways. He protected us and kept us safe.
Wow, God sure has a way of turning things around! Today my kids are 21, 22, 30, and 33. I am proud of all of them and they are all leading amazing lives. They always bring me joy and love. God has restored everything and more to us. I am a proud wife of an amazing man and we are blessed beyond belief!
God’s Word for You
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. – Isiah 55:8-11 NKJV
Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.
“For I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the Lord has blessed.” – Isaiah 61:7-9 NLT
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ – Isiah 41:10 NKJV
“But all who devour you will be devoured, and all your enemies will be sent into exile. All who plunder you will be plundered, and all who attack you will be attacked. I will give you back your health and heal your wounds,” says the Lord. “For you are called an outcast— ‘Jerusalem for whom no one cares.’”
This is what the Lord says: “When I bring Israel home again from captivity and restore their fortunes, Jerusalem will be rebuilt on its ruins, and the palace reconstructed as before. There will be joy and songs of thanksgiving, and I will multiply my people, not diminish them; I will honor them, not despise them. Their children will prosper as they did long ago. I will establish them as a nation before me, and I will punish anyone who hurts them. They will have their own ruler again, and he will come from their own people. I will invite him to approach me,” says the Lord, “for who would dare to come unless invited? You will be my people, and I will be your God.” – Jeremiah 30: 16-22 NLT
My Prayer for You:
I am thanking you in advance for healing my brothers and sisters in Christ. We are your people and You are our God. During this process we choose to trust You and Your ways. Your word WILL accomplish what You said and it WILL prosper. Thank you Lord, for restoring all of us!
“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”—Abraham Lincoln
“Behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins.”- Mitch Albom
“As one whom his mother comforts,
So I will comfort you;
And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” – Isaiah 66:13 NKJV
“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.”—Unknown
“Mothers are like glue. Even when you can’t see them, they’re still holding the family together.” – Susan Gale
“For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.” – Psalm 139:13-14 NKJV
“The most precious jewels you’ll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children.” – Author Unknown
“Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.”—Stevie Wonder
“If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been.” – Robert Brault
“My son, hear the instruction of your father,
And do not forsake the law of your mother;
For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,
And chains about your neck.” – Proverbs 1:8-9 NKJV
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”-1 Corinthians13:4-7NKJV
Be with all the Mothers today, whether they are here on Earth or with you in Heaven. Comfort your children and bring peace that surpasses understanding to all, in Jesus Name!
Strength. Sometimes I have it, sometimes I don’t. What can I say? I’m still human. Some days I am on top of the world, and other days I can’t find my way out from under a rock.
Those hard days I have to take a step back, and pray. In those times I like to remind myself of what God says about strength.
“God is our refuge and strength, a tested help in times of trouble. And so we need not fear even if the world blows up and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam; let the mountains tremble!” – Psalm 46:1-3 TLB
“The Lord is a strong fortress. The godly run to him and are safe.” – Proverbs 18:10 TLB
“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” – Psalm 9:9-10 NKJV
“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place.” – Isaiah 43:1-3 NKJV
“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.” – Psalm 34:4 NKJV
Yes, 2020 sucked. But it’s over. We made it. God saw us through and we are still here! Hallelujah! I don’t know about you, but there were a few times I didn’t know if I would make it to 2021. Yes, I have been knocked down this past year with deaths, COVID in my family, heart attack, and pancreatitis, as well as 5 other ER visits. It’s been kind of a blur. But one thing I do know, God was with me the whole time! There were days I cried, days I just wanted to give up, as well as happy days, and beautiful memories. COVID and illness has certainly given us all a clearer picture of what is really important.
There were more than a few days that I stayed home from Church and watched online. This was hard for me because I am part of our Worship Team. So is my husband Bob, and 6 other friends that are the most amazing gift ever. The last time I stayed home I just cried. The Worship Team sounded so good – without me. It was very humbling. Yes, they are all amazing and we are blessed. I felt lonely and left out. It’s so hard to be sick and stay home all the time. But God showed me something. I could praise Him at home, without the band, without my piano or bass, just on my own for He is worthy to be praised! I learned how to just BE with Jesus.
I learned a very important lesson this past year.
For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” – Romans 14:8 NKJV
Yes, God is still on the throne, and whether I play or don’t play, laugh or cry, live or die, I belong to the Lord. This brought me comfort. It is way easier to let go of things I can’t control if I trust my God who knows the end from the beginning. God is with us. He has plans for us here and in Heaven.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13 NKJV
This verse and song helped me too. I need to see the vision of where I am going, not where I am. Hope rises. Faith rises. God rises, and so will we!
RISE UP by Andra Day
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” – Isaiah 60:1-3 NIV
You’re broken down and tired Of living life on a merry go round And you can’t find the fighter But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out And move mountains We gonna walk it out And move mountains, And I’ll rise up I’ll rise like the day I’ll rise up I’ll rise unafraid I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again And I’ll rise up High like the waves I’ll rise up In spite of the ache I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again, For you For you For you For you, When the silence isn’t quiet And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe And I know you feel like dying But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet And move mountains Bring it to its feet And move mountains, And I’ll rise up I’ll rise like the day I’ll rise up I’ll rise unafraid I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again, For you For you For you For you All we need, all we need is hope And for that we have each other And for that we have each other And we will rise We will rise We’ll rise, oh, oh We’ll rise I’ll rise up Rise like the day I’ll rise up In spite of the ache I will rise a thousand times again And we’ll rise up High like the waves We’ll rise up In spite of the ache We’ll rise up And we’ll do it a thousand times again For you For you For you For you Ah, ah, ah, ah
I heard this verse on the radio this week and it got to me. I didn’t realize I was so close to giving up. The pressures of Covid, the health issues I and my friends have had, etc. I don’t want to give up. I don’t want to quit. God didn’t bring us this far to leave us here. I choose to believe His Word, and GET UP!
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. – Galatians 6:7-10
Here are a few more Don’t Give Up Quotes:
“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” – 2 Chronicles 15:7
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ – Isaiah 41:10
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jerimiah 29:11
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. – 1 Corinthians 9:24
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. – Ephesians 6:10
being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ – Philippians 1:6
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7
Have you ever been afraid? Yeah, me too. We are still human. Last week I ended up at the Hospital again. Things were so bad they admitted me. 3 days later I was released. There were times I didn’t know if I was coming home. Possible complications included complete organ shut down and death. Great…
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1
I prayed a lot. My husband did too, and the few people we told. After 3 days of no food or water, only IV fluids, I started to hallucinate, or so I thought. Only it wasn’t a hallucination – it was a 5 day walk in the Spirit. Remember in he Bible where the Disciples were trying to deliver a man from a demon and they couldn’t do it? Jesus came on the scene and shared some Truth:
“Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”He answered him and said, “Ofaithlessgeneration, how long shall I be with you? How long shall Ic]bear with you? Bring him to Me.”Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouthSo He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood.2 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
Jesus said to him, “Ifyou can believe, all things are possible to him who believes. ”Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing butprayerand fasting.”” – Mark 9:16-29 NKJV
So, with prayer and fasting, you can defeat the Enemy with God’s help. Fasting will also bring about a humbleness and reliance on God for protection. That was the case for me. The Lord protected me from all sorts of spirits those 5 days. Part of it happened in the hospital and part happened at home. I thought my kids and husband were going to commit me. I totally understand now why Paul said, :
“It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:1-6 NKJV
I was walking in the Spirit and using the Word of God to defeat the Enemies I saw. My husband and kids could not see what I saw. I tried to take pictures to prove it to them and video, and some were ok, others had weird marks on them. Very creepy. I will not boast about what God showed me, He is the One who gave me the Word, the Sword of the Spirit, that defeated them. They left.
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:24 NKJV
I pray that the Lord leads us all to walk in the Spirit and defeat the Enemies of our souls.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 NKJV
And one of the best scriptures about how our walk in the Spirit defeats the Enemy:
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” – Ephesians 6:11-20 NKJV
Merry Christmas my friends and family! I know this year is different with the Covid pandemic, however there is still a reason to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
“For to us a Child shall be born, to us a Son shall be given; And the government shall be upon His shoulder, And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6AMP
I am so grateful for the few people I got to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with. I think I treasure their presence way more than any presents. I never realized how distant social distancing really is. I have been a hermit lately. Can you relate? Covid has all of us walking on eggshells, praying it passes over us and our families while we mask up and go out into the world with our hand sanitizer in our pockets. God is still with us, even if we wear a mask, even if we go to the Grocery Store or the Gas Station. God is with us. Let’s take a moment and rejoice in God’s Presence today. He is wonderful!
I really learned to treasure God and His Word during this Covid season. All I need to do is stop, wherever I am, and talk to God. I can pray in my head, or pray out loud – it really doesn’t matter. I just want to acknowledge that I know He is with me. There are some days we just hang out. Jesus wants to spend time with us, even in the middle of the wrapping paper mess. We can sit and relax in God’s Presence. Breathe in His Grace, and breathe out His Praise. I can finally let go of my worries and breathe. His Presence changes everything! I love this song, it keeps playing in my head. God bless you all and Merry Christmas!
You know 2020 has been one heck of a year for all of us. This Covid nightmare has to end soon! I recently had something happen to me on Facebook that really rattled me to the core. Have you ever been hacked? Or watched? Or recorded without your permission? Well now I can say, “Yes, I have”.
This year my husband and I got a notice that our main password had been compromised and we needed to change it immediately. At first I didn’t believe it. Then I asked my super smart IT husband, Bob, and he said, “yes, it’s true. That password is on the Dark Web now. Change the password on any sites you used it.” Oh my. I never knew I had signed up for so many sites before. It was a painstaking process. Thank goodness for Google and their Saved Password feature. I hadn’t used many of these apps for years. I had to look it up. Here is how to see your saved passwords from Google.(Click on link to be directed to Google)
Anyway, Google made it much easier to see what sites I had used that old password at. It was a painstaking process, but I deleted like 40 sites. One by one. That was the beginning of the ‘fun’ I had this month. Then on to FB (Facebook).
I admit it. I am human. Sometimes I just need to vent. I need to let out how I feel about a situation and then I can calm down. I may be a bit passionate about it though. My Husband and Pastor call me the Kraken when I do that, lol!
Well one evening I released the Kraken at home with my husband Bob. I was complaining about a situation that happened at Church. It doesn’t matter which church, or which people I was referring to. I said my piece, let it go, and I felt better. We went to bed and my husband said, “You should check your FB . I think you were hacked.” I told him, “I’ll check it tomorrow, I’m tired.” I thought I could just change my password and that would be that. Man, was I wrong.
The next morning I grabbed my phone and started sipping my coffee. I love coffee in the morning. Bob was in the kitchen making breakfast. I opened up my phone and the FB app. I had 2 messages from my friends asking if I was all right. Hmmm. One of them even showed me a screen shot from Messenger, the instant messaging part of FB. I gasped! What? Bob asked me what was up. I asked him to give me a minute.
Imagine my horror when I discovered that my private conversation where I was venting had been RECORDED by Facebook (without my consent or permission) and sent to my contacts. I told Bob, “I never typed this…I said it!) And now all of my friends knew of the private conversation as FB Messenger decided to record me and make it PUBLIC! My mind started racing a mile a minute. I thought of 3 things I could do right away:
1. I changed my FB and Messenger password.
2. I thought would be easy. I could just delete the conversation. I opened up my Messenger App and checked the side where it lists all of your conversations. There was no message that I had typed or one where the message was sent. This meant I could NOT delete the conversation. Messenger also had no record of who they had sent it to.
3. As I had no control over the account anymore. I deleted my FB and Messenger accounts.
After doing some research I got even angrier when I found out that Facebook had done this before! And been punished with a huge fine. Here is a great article by Today.com dated / Source: TODAY By Scott Stump.
“A report by Bloomberg found that Facebook has been paying hundreds of outside contractors to transcribe clips of audio from its users, citing “people with knowledge of the work” who were told to transcribe the audio without being informed how and where it was obtained.
Facebook confirmed to NBC News that it had engaged in the practice but said that it “paused human review of audio more than a week ago.”
The company added that the only users affected chose a transcription option in their Messenger app and that it masked the audio so the users’ identities were not revealed to third-party transcribers.
Third-party contractors told Bloomberg they felt the work was unethical because users didn’t know their audio would be reviewed and transcribed.
Facebook told NBC News it was reviewing the audio to make sure its artificial intelligence was working properly.”
If you read the article the author Scott Stump teaches you how to TURN YOUR MICROPHONE OFF ON FACEBOOK AND MESSENGER. I sent this article to all my children and friends – via Email.
I am disappointed in Facebook, Messenger, and Mark Zuckerberg. It is an invasion of my privacy to record my conversations without my consent. And then have them sent to a 3rd party place to be transcribed and then sent out to my contacts. All so you can target ads to me? I don’t want your ads! I am no longer a customer. What they did was wrong.
What do you think? Have you ever been hacked? Have you had this happen to you? Is your microphone ON in Facebook and Messenger? I have more apologies to make. My private vent should have never been shared FB and Messenger. You are rude beyond belief.